2021 Officially Begins

Dumpster Fire Press is proud to present the first release of 2021…

STRANDS OF STRUGGLE by Brenda Christie, a strong and unique voice who takes the reader into a variety of places both tragedy and triumphant…there’s so much here difficult to put into words from a language and realm older than words and Christie delivers on that through her own person journey exposing the inner depths of being and what it means to express one’s soul she’ll take you through a multitude of highs and lows going inside and out…

While I cannot do poet’s work justice, perhaps one just needs to let the work speak for itself…

 14 Days                                                                                                                                                                                  

There is a hush,

that pulls apart

the moon and spreads like laziness.

A starvation,

for touch hides in a locket

of words kept hidden from civilization.

You shake,

the whisper that screams down 

the throat and burns in the hands of church.

Her breath,

swallowed the tongues of her

ancestors. To end grief is to save a life.

The coo of a song,

blooms bent across the hydrangeas scent,

but sleeps with sorrow and wakes the mourning.

She fenced mirth,

molting into gardens of twisted stars,

pulling skies into our robotic exoskeleton,

with metal jaws wide,

chomping on the shedding light, stretched

outward, dangled in branches of leftover constellations.

As hooded darkness looms,

hiding isolation into our pockets, sewn, and

unraveling into ourselves,

with grey strands plucked,

leaving roots opened to rise in graves of suns,

beating on tongues of hurling storms, soaking in murky waters.

Her clothes hung,

like a taco hangover, slumped against the core

of her heart, wrapped in a collapsing cloud of freckles.

She is all the colours at once. At full brightness.

She is years of decades,

slow walks of shapes; slow walks of shadows.

Dark creaks of silence; contactless tiles

like thorns,

folding in, towards the spine,

to form a circle that clips on the outside in.

Earth tilts our heads,

as we bow for greed and power to the inevitable.

It gives so much and takes away more.

She is the fingers,

stroking the core of society.

Telling her, what she can and cannot do.

The bony fish,

whispering down the curves of isolation, reflecting

light against the walls that bare the cracks of her teeth.

A tightened knot loosens each time a breath is taken in moonlight.

Like a leash of foxes,

living underground, burrowed deep in thought, she is

hungry for thirst to fall on the tongues of the forest.

The world erupts,

and dwindles into shattering shards of cold stones,

dipping her panicked feet into burning sparks of twilight.

Wings spread like freedom,

holding spines of chapters with words thrown into

the wind of clouds, caressing new births of sky.

Hands deep,

wide in clay. Touching the silk of porcelain on grey skin

with pale fingers falling into the sky with eyes wired shut.

One day,

the bloom of warmth, will grow stems of gardens, scattering

speckles of scented light turning on its head.

Freedom, sprung tulips, dipped in a summer dream of marmalade.

In the skull,

behind the bones, she resides.

Telling stories of echoes filling her lungs.

Her past,

a lone star. Bent backwards. How lovely, was her vision that turned full,

in clothes of sorrow.

I will follow,

where she bleeds. Absorbing the stitch of wounds on lips that whisper in graves.

How lovely it is, to look so far away and be visible.

Poet Brenda Christie

2021 has officially begun for DFP and it is an honor to present to such a captivating and romantic (in the true sense of the word )collection of poetry. I humbly thank, Brenda for entrusting me with her work and look forward to any future contributions she makes in the world of words.

“Brenda Christie’s ‘STRANDS of STRUGGLE’ unravels the intricacies of love, mystery, animal rights, activism, victims of crime, natural disaster, bullying, and the year, 2020, which has masked the world in fear. Brenda’s inspiration came from songwriters like Gordon Downie, whose poetic lyrics are forever carved in her soul, along with intense admiration for strong people like her own mother, who exemplified personal stories through poetry. Words are magical, each one telling a story that invites the reader into this captivating world of poetry created with amazing compilation of stories found in ‘STRANDS of STRUGGLE.’ The skies will brighten as we slow the clouds, enabling us to see a world with shapes of new eyes watching us from the stars, moon and sun whispering to the universe.”

See ya’ in the fire kids…

(still have to work on a better sign off)

Visions of Things to Come

I’ve been quiet for the past couple of weeks dealing with work and thinking what DFP’s next move or rather what direction it shall take and while things haven’t been fully formulated nor edited yet, I’d like to present with visions of a few things to come within the next several months…

First off, I’m proud to announce that Dumpster Fire Press will be featured on THE SOCIAL YET DISTANCED podcast hosted by Fran Lock and Jack Varnell…expect not only a socially distanced experience but a socially awkward one as well as we discuss DFP from its frenetic origins, what it’s doing or where it may even be along with all sorts of oddball tangents more than likely instigated by me…

VOICES FROM THE FIRE is finally going to be launched starting January 3rd. The rolling blog/e-zine from DFP featuring ONE POET, ONE ARTIST and ONE WRITER each week later to be collected into a tangible anthology at the end of the year.

Submissions: 12 pt. Times New Roman

No more than four poems,

Flash fiction is welcome

Short stories no more than twenty pages

Artists, fuck man…I’m new at this send whatever just no dead rodents stapled to cardboard sent to my house.

can you guess what I might be doing?


By the end of next week expect DFP’s first 2021 release… STRANDS OF STRUGGLE the highly sympathetic, sometimes jarring yet uplifting poetry collection from Brenda Christie…

While Dumpster Fire Press is not an aggressive publisher and plans on releasing one title a month along with quarterly anthologies that doesn’t mean there won’t be any surprise bonus releases or anything…

and further entice like a pusher making a fetal junkie aware of its latent addiction to junk I present some images from projects in development all through the spring of 2021…


Prepping manuscripts to start filling in the 2021 year…

Don’t jump the fucking gun, I’m not accepting manuscript submissions on an official basis yet unless we’ve personally corresponded but I am about to embark on something soon that I hope will have you picturing slitting my wrists as I type away at my computer.

So, I’m pleased to announce to distract myself from the tearing away of my flesh the official arrival of VOICES FROM THE FIRE.

Part of DFP’s mission is to give voices to the voiceless, those on the margins of society, those who never had a chance to speak, yada-yada-yada, how many times is this written on the site.

Let’s get down to it Voices of the Fire is going to feature those voices…

ONE POET A WEEK (starting)



We will started accepting submissions on Janaury 3rd 2021

Expect a preview of what’s to come shortly.

I will hate all of you as I continue my regular one to two title release schedule along with other fun projects in conjunction with trying to write and release my own work but it will be worth it as I will be proud to release your work and admire you exposing the essence of your being and projecting your awareness of how fucked up and beautiful the world can be…


Times New Roman, 12pt. 1.5 Spacing at the most

Poetry 1-4 preferably 1 per page.

Flash Fiction

Short Stories nothing more than 20 pages

Artists, fuck man…I’m new at this send whatever just no dead rodents stapled to cardboard sent to my house.


Sweet Christmas!

Taking a bit of time off to revise the site along with recuperating from an insane publishing schedule….

In the meantime…get yourself or someone you love or are bitter enemies with one or all of these Dumpster Fire Press titles:

THE GRIND a collaborative poetry text by myself, Wolfman, Roz Washington and Push Cart Nominee Robert Ragan with art by James Maj…

The novelette HONEYDEW:THE CORRECTED TEXT by R. Keith…

the much anticipated poetry collection from John Doyle LEAVING HENDERSON COUNTY

and who doesn’t like biting social satire from Editor in Chief of Alien Buddha Press? THE ENTIRE BLOODY SAGA: RED FOCKS THE COLLECTED WORKS…

So glad you could join us and hopefully we’ll have something cool for you up before 2021.

Take it easy guys during the holy, holy daze of what is called by the market “the holidays.”

It started off with ONE HELL OF A MUSE and ended as one hell of a year

A Bloody Good Time…

Ha! See what I did there?

Dumpster Fire Press is thrilled to release our fourth and final release of the year…THE ENTIRE BLOODY SAGA: RED FOCKS THE COLLECTED WORKS!

Editor in Chief of Alien Buddha Press’ interconnected fiction of a world gone awry not dissimilar from our own! Collecting the novels: The Philanthropist’s Suicide, The Bloody Waste, Haight, The Corona Carlyle Conspiracy and Otis Chang-Hussain along with the short story Fire & Ice. A must read for fans of Red Focks of Alien Buddha Press and satiric social commentary.


Just in time to coincide with Alien Buddha Zine issue#21 featuring Dumpster Fire Press before any of even knew what was going to happen…

It’s been a wild time this year and what a way to end 2020 than for our final release to consist where everything just about started years ago before we really get down to business…whatever of that means…other than refining the wordpress and getting down to a steady rhythm of sorts…I guess.

I have had the benefit of being Red Focks’ fiction editor for a bit of time, even before this press started. Red is the one who really gave me a shot via small press publishing when he accepted my manuscript VOID BENEATH SKIN years ago when I didn’t have a direction, he gave me a shot at writing installments of the graphic novel series AMERICAN ANTI-HERO allowing me to play with his creations and aid in the crafting of his fictional world which means a lot without really knowing or having met someone.

This relationship has continued for years with various contributions being made to various anthologies and Alien Buddha Press putting out other poetry collections A FAREWELL TO BIG IDEAS and ONE HELL OF A MUSE and seeing as how I don’t like to publish my own work if I’m the exclusive contributor it’s going to continue that way for the foreseeable future. (I think we should all be noticing the shameless plugs here, it’s small press none of us really make any money, haha)

All kidding aside, though if it weren’t for Red, Dumpster Fire Press wouldn’t exist.

I was thinking of getting into editing as a side gig because my real gig is kind of unreal in a variety of manners and asked if he needed an editor, beside I have this degree from a community college just languishing what else was I going to use it for in our capitalistic realism driven world (Mark Fisher is probably not very proud of me right now with that failed attempt at a joke but that’s how hauntology sort of works I suppose)

I got the privilege of working on THE BLOODY WASTE and OTIS CHANG-HUSSAIN before they got accepted for publication which led to a Managing Editor position at Concrete Mist Press which resulted in some pretty challenging and rewarding editing gigs, one of my favorites being HAIGHT another tale by Red put out originally by Cajun Mutt Press in which I may have bordered past editorial into something more assertive ultimately leading to a failed venture with another publisher that has already been chronicled enough on here but still was an experience I found fulfilling both in a creative and technical way which not only sharpened my skills as both writer and editor but even contributing to the enlightenment of characters but enough of that existential bullshit no one really wants to read about…

Red Focks is the guy who defended me online when things went awry and encouraged me to strike out on my own and generously allowed me to again edit and collect his work in this tremendous volume that I hope everyone enjoys. It easily could have been published through his own venue but again showing a strong sense of trust and sincere belief in what for the most part a stranger was doing with his supposed attempt at a small press, Red put some faith in me and for that I’m genuinely grateful not only for this but for everything and I like to think we’re going to be continuing within the realm of small press like this on the same path because ultimately again we’re in this together and not like some lame mantra but let’s be honest mainstream reading is not where it’s at…people are going to want things by the people and the engineered corporate artists feeding us recycled hyper-realized aspects of bubblegum pop culture and pseudo counter-culture…

The game, if there is one has been upped because there isn’t even a game at all so…

If you’re a fan of Alien Buddha Press or Red Focks give it a whirl.

If you’re almost a fan of Dumpster Fire Press or unsure give it a whirl, if you don’t like me but like my editing most definitely give it a read.

It’s damn good social commentary and writing by a damn good writer, artist and indie press operator.

Also just in time for Christmas pick up this anthology by Alien Buddha Press by a bunch of writers whose work I respect and admire ….

Now this being the fourth and final release of 2020, it’s time to take a break for about a week or so…

Hopefully we look different in a more appealing manner for you guys and have something more of substance to share.

2021 is bound to herald more flaming garbage and dare I say a reign of writers?

Leaving Henderson County for…

“What’s in store for me in the direction, I don’t take?” – Jack Kerouac

One of my favorite Kerouac quotes next to “I have nothing to offer but my confusion.”

Which kinds of sums up this and sometimes existence itself altogether but that isn’t what this installment is all about…it’s about John Doyle’s long awaited poetry collection LEAVING HENDERSON COUNTY which happens to be the third release from Dumpster Fire Press.

LEAVING HENDERSON COUNTY is kind of a symbolic release for me. Almost parallel between my journey to forming my own press, so one can imagine reading Doyle’s work (and I hope John forgives me for referring to him by his last name, it seems a bit informal as a publisher to refer to an author by first name only). As one reads his poetry which could be the nectar of the gods, you become him and experience not only him but others through yourself like a bizarro mystical mirror of revelation and enlightenment.

We’re not only leaving Henderson county to find ourselves but we’re leaving who we thought we were, not entirely behind but it sure sets up a strong foundation for who we’d like to become while struggling with the successes and failures of that which aren’t really failures at all but essential transformations and I can’t do that justice, no something like justice comes near the piece of writing after I’ve spitfired my say which…

This third release was about making amends and doing the author right. The last of several works from when I was editor in chief for something that never fully materialized and no, I don’t finger point or lash out as I did what I was thought was right for my authors my brothers in word who trusted me with their work. Half a dozen artists entrusted me with their work to bring it out and I did. THE GRIND was the start, lingering and waiting to be unleashed, HONEYDEW: THE CORRECTED TEXT a series of unfortunate errors needing to be rectified and finally LEAVING HENDERSON COUNTY, much the same way THE GRIND was without a sense of guidance or collaboration between editor and press. It marks the end of a short era and the start of something new, where the obligation to put things right, I can finally breathe with a sigh of relief and continue on in the direction I never knew I could take in the first place.

So in LEAVING HENDERSON COUNTY, I’m not only able to leave said location but certain situations behind and craft an entirely different scenario that will be full of all sorts of mad errors and I hope all of the artists including John (sorry but fuck formality) will be willing to join us from time to time as a voice from the fire. It’s been a wild time and when in the wilderness you either let go full on feral or attempt to tame the nature which will lash out three times brutally back at you for trying to do so…building cities on wetlands anyone?

Wow… so enough scattered babbling , I’m trying to switch back come from being a nocturnal animal to regular dayshift drone , it happens with the frenetic scheduling I content with in my “real life” haha which is anything but…

John Doyle and LEAVING HENDERSON COUNTY, I let the poetry speak for itself…

Nursing Homes on Sunday Evenings

Nursing homes in the South of Dublin,

Cork, Limerick, the constellation of Orion…

Rainy days,


lawn-tennis Fridays.

Time like a drop of rain

on this umbrella, the songs of constellations yet to be named,

after Romans and Greeks who died, telling clergy

there were other Gods prowling infinite spheres.

Time is like a drop of rain, moistening a front door carpet;

And the smell,

rich, pungent, like the colour bronze.

So I bring you some grapes,

a paper,

and you tell me of the latest gangland scumbag whacked,

4 minutes walk away –

away from the lawn-tennis Fridays

and the Gods prowling infinite spheres

John Doyle

and if my random selection of having too many damn good poems to choose from here is an opinion from someone who really matters…

In this age of insta-poetry and “rhymin’-all-the-timin’” spoken word it is a great pleasure to read a poet who understands that before there is art there must first be craft, John Doyle is one of those poets. His new book “Leaving Henderson County” glitters like well-polished crystal, each individual poem contributing to a fierce, beautiful and clever collection. The poems are by turn deeply personal, scathingly funny and at times achingly sad (there is a particularly lovely little poem “as Ghaelige” which made my heart glad!). They all carry that makers mark of familiarity, the common experience hiding quietly in the individual one, the sign of a truly fine poet writing truly fine poems.

He is a poet who loves language and language in its turn loves him, those many years of hard work mastering this tricky, slippery, nebulous, back breaking thing we call Poetry has now repaid him with poems that appear effortless and charmed but that speak to a writer operating at the top of his game. He writes in an often surreal style peppered with images that sear and arrest, he can be Beckett or Joyce as in “taking all the words out or putting all the words in” but he really is his own man and the quality of his style is his and his alone.

Don’t just take my word for it, get yourself a copy, find a quiet place and let this beautiful collection work its considerable magic.

Maith thú, a Sheáin.

Mick Corrigan, October 2020.   

Much appreciation to John Doyle for entrusting me with his work, along with Roz Washington, Robert Ragan, James Maj, R. Keith and most especially the fates who drew us all together.

It’s been weird and when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro or something…I don’t know, ask Hunter S. Thompson…

-Mike Zone

What’s the due, HONEYDEW?

So why does a book practically no one has heard of need a “corrected text”?

We’ll get to that but first let me tell you about Dumpster Fire Press’ second release HONEYDEW by artist/writer R. Keith…

The latest release from Dumpster Fire Press… HONEYDEW: THE CORRECTED TEXT by R. Keith featuring the original unaltered cover art…”A stark coming of age tale… R. Keith delivers a sock in the jaw in this hard boiled novelette about the fires of youth burning toward a future desolation haunted by visions of fleeting hope, testing the meaning of friendships, life, death, maybe even the prospect of something that could be love… it’s a requiem of dreams and all of that instilled in the fenced off companionship of someone called Honeydew”

The official write up on Amazon featuring my blurb, it’s a stark coming of age story that essentially focuses on the objective of Dumpster Fire Press of providing a voice for the voiceless in the portrayal of what is deemed the lower class of society, you know the poor and how difficult it is to actually grow up in that manner while attempting to reconcile your identity with limited in our hyper-reality constructed society…however R Keith is a normal human and doesn’t word it like that…thankfully.

R. Keith being a visual artist whose work has been featured in galleries not only in his homeland (feels weird wording it that way) Canada but has been exhibited in Russia and Malta. He can communicate beyond borders the ordinary scope of literary, giving us maybe not something of razor sharp wordplay which usually just comes off as cerebral masturbation but something more accessible.

R. Keith paints with words giving you the universal image of the mind’s eye. It’s a cinematic eye and when I first read it, I was reminded of Darren Aronofsky’s REQUIEM FOR A DREAM…something I tried to hit with a little known story called AQUA-SHOES (published in TALES OF THE ALIEN BUDDHA 3 and SYNCHRONIZED CHAOS shameless plug) he added a more human touch in a softer tone and I’m not going to ruin it by tell you the plot or what exactly happens, it doesn’t need to be…it needs to be experienced and while it wasn’t mindblowing literature, it’s not meant to be, it’s a story with depth, meaning and the lack of meaning of well, here’s another shameless plug GRINDING through it all just mechanically live and become the best softmachine one can be…

Now the story of how R. Keith and I collaborated…is a wonderful tale unto itself and while again I won’t go into details about small press blood-feuds…things go wrong and sometimes people don’t hold up their obligations and they’re not forthright about so everyone can be on the same page and I get that and it’s never entirely one’s fault or even their fault…

However HONEYDEW was jammed through by the original publisher without a proper edit with altered cover art and while is a little more to this drama, I choose to remain silent for the two opposing parties involved and this did play a part in the formation of Dumpster Fire Press with various prospective authors coming to me with questions regarding the status of projects here and there.

R Keith was one of them. Something was due.

Editors from various presses got into contact with me about certain specifics regarding my affiliation and I contemplated long and hard, gazing at the the dumpster fire thrust in my lap…

Hey when life hands you a dumpster fire launch a press!

That’s just as garbage as you with some grandiose mission you cannot ever possibly fulfill as you make good on the unfulfilled obligations of someone else you were tied to…

hence, the existence of HONEYDEW:THE CORRECTED TEXT, the original was taken off the market due to a feud, which is fine the text is now presented the way it should’ve been in the first place along with Kerri Pullo’s unmolested art. Obligation fulfilled to do right by the authors and artists…

and I’ll be continuing to that, at least for a while….jesus I really need to do something about this wordpress’ appearance or something, shit it’s a dumpster fire….we’re okay for now.

Grinding Away…

Obviously I couldn’t think of anything cool to write….I considered starting out with “Jump into the fire with me, let us burn together…” but fuck over dramatic romantic bullshit, that’s what poetry is for…

Speaking of poetry, Dumpster Fire Press is proud to release its first title THE GRIND, a stream of consciousness poetry collaborative poetry collection featuring the work poet and Rouge Wolf Press publisher Kevin “Wolfman” Martin, poet and hip-hop artist Roz Washington, crime writer and poet Robert Ragan and my low life subpar self….

Originally I was going to try to make this site more professional but this is Dumpster Fire Press and I want the books we put out along with the writers we feature to speak for themselves…which we will hopefully start featuring on a weekly a basis starting in 2021 unless Covid does a real doozy shuts down my state and allows me the free time I’m actually needed…oh wait fuck the contagion this isn’t what the post is originally mean to be about…let’s get back to THE GRIND

THE GRIND in concept is a work I’ve never had the pleasure to partake in before all of our poetry composed and bleeding into each relaying our dreams, fantasies, hard luck perspectives and blue collar lives… divided into three parts you get just that along with the fable of Zero Jones and the introduction of The Shrouded Gentlemen two characters destined to rear their heads into the the small press worlds again at point, a protagonist with an antagonist on the same journey that rivals the other in which the book ending with our working bleeding into each other and showcasing each writer separately so can you possibly decipher where one ends and begins realizing that perhaps there isn’t an ending nor beginning to it at all.

That’s the beauty of it and why I’ve grinded away at it for over a year. Featuring great art work by Jame Maj who I cannot thank enough for gracing the pages with his fantastical renderings within our low life mythic working class realm.

I haven’t blogged or anything since 2011 and to be honest I’m pretty rusty even for a guy who has been published nearly two hundred times and edited fourteen books so far this year….

It all started with drunken holiday messenger poetry compositions from friends across several states.

I leave you with a link as well as a portrait of each poet and a statement as to what “the grind” means to each of them.

Hope you stick around….I’d like you to jump into the fire with…so that we can burn together.

-Mike Zone


Written in chicken scratch, it’s harder for them to tell the stories that keep me alive. This is how I Grind.- Robert Ragan

The grind is waking up in a bathtub of lukewarm water at Motel 8 late for work, Saturday morning, after dreaming of a goddess, clamshells, kisses, high seas, hot breath on your neck- Wolfman
The Grind is what you do after being ground up from the mechanics of it all….sometimes you move…just because it’s hard…keep grinding. – Mike Zone
are you ready to Grind through each and every daily aspect as well as pushing forth your choices?- Roz Washington.

These are my brothers in words…keep grinding.

Also Dumpster Fire Press will be donating all the proceed from this milestone debut venture to the Drug Policy Alliance. A better and more just society is possible.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.